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Cancer on Five Dollars a Day (chemo not included): How Humor Got Me Through the Toughest Journey of My Life Paperback – January 6, 2009
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“Offers an edgy, humorous look at [Schimmel’s] battle with the disease.”
“Personal, profane, often overdone and equally often hilarious…The book bursts with life, and its message of fighting back—coupled with its equally strong message of trying anything when you have nothing to lose—is sure to resonate with families dealing with any type of serious disease, not just cancer.”
“Incredibly interesting and very, very funny…While this is not what I’d call a light read, it is anything but grim. It’s the story of an extraordinary man who is painfully honest about himself, his illness, and how it changed him. It’s the archetypal human drama; the hero and the telling are beautiful but raw…I highly recommend Schimmel’s book. You’ll get to know him and learn something, all while laughing your head off.”
“A very fast read…[Schimmel] tells his story without pulling any punches…Cancer on 5 a Day is written in a friendly, relaxed manner that helps the reader to immediately empathize with Schimmel's plight.”
Omaha World Herald, 3/26/09
“Schimmel spilled a goulash of emotions, thoughts, observations and roguish jokes into his paperback.”
About the Author
Alan Eisenstock is the author of several nonfiction works. He lives in Pacific Palisades, California.
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I've always loved Bob Schimmel's stand up routines on Sirius XM. That's just about the only place you can hear them, because his bits are way too nasty for any other media.
I had heard that he had beat cancer, survived a heart attack, and had made it through some very difficult times in his personal life. It made the news that much more stunning that he had died in an auto accident, and even worse so when I heard that one of his daughters was driving. I can't even imagine her pain.
So that's the backdrop for this book. I downloaded this book to my Kindle so I could start reading right away. It was hard to read his personal account of survival knowing that the book's end was very different than his life's end.
The book was part torture and part delicious. I'm just a regular guy, but a book has never made me laugh so hard and never made me cry in public. I finished the book early Monday morning while pretending to shop at an outlet mall with my wife. I recommend a less public setting.
So what's the book about? It's no secret, as the title puts it right out there. Bob learns he has non-Hodgekins Lymphoma (sp??). This book is his personal account from diagnosis, through grueling treatment, and all the way to remission. Although he uses his comedy to cope with his disease and tries to help other patients and professionals, the treatment is brutal and he can't just laugh his way through it.
There's nothing funny about cancer or what he and his fellow patients went through. How he dealt with it and how he retold it was pretty doggone funny--hysterical really. But it's gallows humor and you never forget the disease or his pain for one minute in this book.
Do I recommend this book? Absolutely yes. But it's not the easiest book to read. Especially when you know the happy ending is so brief. I should also warn you that his comedy is as vulgar as it gets. If you can't handle jokes about body parts and bodily functions, then you should think twice about reading this one. I'm not sorry I read it though.
I'm grateful that he left us with so many laughs. And I'm grateful that he was strong enough to share this story. I hope his story can give comfort to patients and their families.
includes some laugh-out loud comments about it. A very serious book, detailed about
his treatment and what he went through, with that treatment - also told
This book should be read by any one suffering from cancer or knows someone going through chemo or radiation. He puts a face on cancer, gives one a close view and you realize quite quickly that this man has a soft heart.
His comedy may be R rated but he gets to the point in a funny racy way. Thank you for giving us a few hours of reading enjoyment. I had emotions ranging from laugher, crying and continplation, the C club is one club on one wants to be invited into. But once invited your life will be forever changed.
**Mild Spoiler Alert** I loved the scene where Schimmel is able to break through the tough-guy defense of a fellow chemo patient at the infusion center. I bought this for my father who was recently diagnosed with treatable pancreatic cancer and decided I'd read it first out of intrigue (I knew my dad could handle whatever "innappropriate" humor Schimmel dished out). I am not sure if my dad is more like Schimmel or the tough guy he reaches out to, but either way, I think my dad will find inspiration and have many hardy laughs while reading this book.
For a something I was worried about being too offensive, I instead found myself with tears of laughter and compassion - and often both at the same time - at many points throughout the book. Great read for those of us who have never been in a cancer patient's shoes, those of us who have worn those shoes before, and those of us who are wearing them right now.